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Blow for Pat Lam's Connacht as Marmion ruled out of crucial Pro12 trip

The 23-year-old Ireland international will be missing for the trip to face the Dragons.

Marmion sustained the AC join injury last weekend.
Marmion sustained the AC join injury last weekend.
Image: Ashley Crowden/INPHO

CONNACHT HAVE BEEN dealt a heavy blow ahead of their vital Guinness Pro12 encounter with the Dragons this weekend, with Kieran Marmion ruled out.

After a disappointing performance during last weekend’s 32-14 defeat away to Champions Cup qualification rivals the Scarlets, Pat Lam’s men are desperate to return to winning ways in Wales on Sunday [KO 16.00, S4C].

The task has been made more difficult with the loss of Ireland international Marmion, who sustained an AC joint sprain during the first half of the defeat to the Scarlets.

That the issue is only grade one in terms of severity means Marmion is likely to be available again for the home tie against Treviso on Sunday 1 March, but Lam would ideally have had the 23-year-old in his team to face the Dragons.

With John Cooney having returned to Leinster due to the eastern province’s shortage of scrum-halves, Ian Porter seems likely to wear nine for Connacht this weekend.

More positively, Lam will be able to select out-half/centre Craig Ronaldson against the Dragons, with the former Lansdowne FC man having fully recovered from a recent quadriceps injury.

Connacht remain sixth in the Pro12 table despite last weekend’s disappointment, although they lead the Scarlets only on account of having won seven league fixtures to the Welsh side’s six.

Edinburgh are just a single point further down the table in eighth, meaning the pressure is on Connacht to secure victory versus the Dragons, who beat Leinster last time out.

Table Source: Guinness Pro12

The Scarlets are at home to Munster this weekend, while Edinburgh host Ulster. Lam certainly would welcome a favour from two of his neighbours.

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